I was listening to it on the radio in the car for the first half of the debate, so I couldn’t see the body language, and it was interesting.
It felt more “balanced” in terms of how I would imagine Joe/Jane Average receiving it. Both candidates, in content gave answers that we’ve heard before, or took positions in line with what ones we figured they’d have.
Listening with my personal political thinking cap on, I thought Kerry had the edge by far; he gave way more substantive answers, and Bush was sidestepping them (and emitting the usual types of malapropisms that endear wingnuts to him, or, for anyone with a brain, scare the sh*t out of them).
One thing that seemed unclear while listening was whether Bush was yelling his answers or his mic was too loud. I was still radio-only when Bush became unhinged, interrupting Charlie Gibson and then I realized, yeah, he was yelling, trying to be “assertive,” haha. It’s going to blow up in his face.
Got home and started watching and that’s when I realized it was a Kerry blowout. Bush’s demeanor was bizarre, and he was still making faces, had bad posture, and looked as unpresidential as he did in the last debate when you could see him next to Kerry’s cool demeanor.
All I could think when I heard Bush evoke Reagan a bit earlier, was how RR, even in his last term, was more “together” in comparison to this guy. And that takes something. Bush really looks dangerous out there — people needed badly to see this side of him — he clearly shouldn’t be running the country.